Columbia Engineering Graduate Students to be Honored at Class Day

Meet the Columbia Engineering graduate students who created a more purposeful, caring, and celebrating community.

May 11 2023

Computer science master’s student, Camille-Louise "Cam" Kouba Mbayo, has been selected by Columbia Engineering faculty and administration as this year’s Graduate Class Day Speaker. She will speak on behalf of the Engineering graduate students at the May 15 Class Day.

Additionally each year the School honors outstanding students as recipients of the Graduate Student Life Leadership Award. This year’s recipients are Mark Barbet PhD'23 of mechanical engineering and Albert Fernández Veiga MS'23 of biomedical engineering.

The Graduate Student Life Leadership Awards are given annually to select students whose participation and involvement at Columbia have enhanced the spirit of graduate student life on campus, creating a more purposeful, caring, and celebrative community.

Congratulations to these three remarkable students and the Class of ‘23! Get to know the honorees: 

Graduate Class Day Speaker: Camille-Louise "Cam" Kouba Mbayo

Camille-Louise Kouba Mbayo

Camille-Louise "Cam" Kouba Mbayo

Camille-Louise Kouba (Cam) Mbayo is a queer Congolese-born nerd artist, engineer, avid learner, daughter, sister, friend, and human. A 2023 Columbia University M.S. in Computer Science in the Global Engineering track Cam holds two B.S.s in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Tufts University.

During Cam’s time at Columbia, Cam learned about internet infrastructure. From its history born of broadcast, voice communication, and data, to its building blocks starting with the physical layer to the application layer and the unnamed layers of politics and economy. With the tools acquired at Columbia, Cam has honed in on their skills, tieing technology to the humans it serves by working at Foundation For Inclusion and being in rooms with C-level suites executives in top philanthropist agencies discussing how to invest in tech. She has also participated as an expert at the invitation of Professor Axel for a Game Design for Social Justice class at SVA. Furthermore, Cam was an e-board member for CORE^2 under the leadership of Emily Barragan and Daniela Bushiri who on top of supporting people with marginalized identities and building communities organized the largest conference collaboration between the business school and the engineering school.

In between working on projects and studying Cam can be found napping underneath the trees outside the mathematics building or in the stacks of the architecture library, reading books, dancing, talking about the legacy of colonialism on many things including internet infrastructure, painting, playing board games, loving and laughing with community.

Graduate Student Life Award Winner: Mark Barbet

Mark Barbet

Mark Barbet

Mark Barbet is a Ph.D. candidate graduating in 2023 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He does research in the Burke Combustion Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Michael P. Burke, which he joined in Fall of 2016. His thesis, titled “Advancements in Automated Chemical Kinetic Model Generation: Automated Treatments of Parametric and Non-parametric Sources of Uncertainty” combines experimental work with automation and machine learning to enable understanding of the chemistry for the numerous synthetic and bio-fuels needed to develop green engines for the future.

In addition to his research, Mark has served in a variety of capacities within the Columbia Engineering community: first, as the treasurer and social chair for the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Association, and second in several roles in the Engineering Graduate Student Council. He served as the Social Chair during 2019, where he established the framework for the social calendar that EGSC continues to use to this day. Outside of the Social Chair, he also served as a Department Representative for Mechanical Engineering and as the EGSC representative on the Interschool Governance Board, the organization responsible for funding many of the university-wide student organizations.

Graduate Student Life Award Winner: Albert Fernández Veiga

Albert Fernández Veiga

Albert Fernández Veiga

Albert Fernández is a Fulbright scholar and Columbia University graduate with a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, focusing on biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship. He has been recognized as part of the 2023 100 Leaders of Tomorrow and 2022 Top 10 E&T Spanish Talents.

During his time at Columbia, Albert worked along with the Department of Biomedical Engineering as a Program Ambassador, acting as a point of contact for both current and prospective students and leading the BME MS Mentorship program, guiding incoming students in their transition to academic and student life at Columbia University. He also served as a Representative at the Graduate Organization of Biomedical Engineers, helping plan department-specific and cross-departmental social events for SEAS MS and Ph.D. students, bridging both student groups. Albert also joined the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, whose mission is dedicated to giving visibility and fostering Hispanic leadership in the STEM field.

Additionally, he co-founded PregnanSEE, a project that intends to improve the cycle of care for nutritional deficiencies in pregnant women in underserved communities by designing a minimally invasive point-of-care diagnostic medical device.

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